A FaceBook friend of mine posed a question that was interesting to me:
"When did revival change from being an experience into a scheduled event?"
Here is my response:
It was a gradual change that happened as Christianity slid downhill from being a relationship with Jesus and a celebration of that to being, for the most part, just another man-made, earthly religion.
If man announces that on a certain date and time the HOLY SPIRIT of GOD will show up at that mere mortal's beck and call....you can know that it isn't true.
What WILL happen is that people will experience a soul high and as soon as the experience completely orchestrated by man is over...the high will wear off.
That's why "revival" has to be scheduled repeatedly....to maintain the man-made high.
Notice the STARK contrast here where Jesus is speaking:
"The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)
Out of curiosity, I looked up the word "revival" in my Bible program. I could only find it once, in Ezra 9:8, in the entire Bible (in the NKJV). It doesn't show up at all in the King James Version and in Ezra it doesn't refer to a "soul high" at all.
"Revival", as we know it in our churches....is a completely man-made experience.
Why do Christians, who were DEAD and, in Christ, have been brought ALIVE eternally need to be "revived"?
I DO, however, see that there will be "times of refreshing" for lost people, but not Christians, since what is said in Acts 3:19-21 is Peter addressing the lost:
"Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He (the Father) may send Jesus Christ (the Savior), who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began." (Acts 3:19-21)
So, that verse is speaking to the lost - not to we Christians.
There IS, however, a different and kind of refreshing for Christians that I believe God intends for us to experience routinely.
When do these happen? Whenever Christians gather for worship, to work together, to serve one another, to have coffee or a meal, to ride somewhere together....in groups of 2 or more.
"For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them." (Matthew 18:20 - Jesus speaking)
I've found that being with Jesus...however the format...has been pretty refreshing.
Perhaps if the Body of Christ would simply Gather in small groups as the norm....there would be no need for so many emotion-driven events in the highly scattered modern day Church.
Let's practice Gathering simply...and be refreshed.